Tara Dublin is a geek. In fact, she's the kind of geeky gal that you'd love to hang out with and have a few beers with while talking about Buffy the Vampire Slayer and that show she appears on from time to time...
...what was it called again?
I kid, I kid. Seriously, though, I'm giving her the following space on Geek To Me because she's going to share a story that has become all-to-common in today's age of media. And because Patton Oswalt crashed her site when he shared a link to it on Twitter.
Take it away Detective Dublin..
How do you make a life when no one will let you?
When I got laid off more than three years ago, it wasn’t because I did anything wrong. I didn’t swear on the air. I didn’t reveal corporate secrets. I didn’t blackmail anyone or embezzle company funds to go to Hawaii. I didn’t sell radio secrets to another station. I was a model employee who worked tirelessly, even when I wasn’t physically at work. But when the financial hammers started pounding, I couldn’t save myself from getting smashed.
I have been trying ever since to get back there, because it’s where I belong and everyone who knows me knows this. I’ve grown embittered because this isn’t supposed to be my life, this struggle. I shouldn’t be looking at a nearly empty bank account. I shouldn’t have piles of unpaid bills, I shouldn’t have to duck calls from creditors. I was a good girl. I did what you’re supposed to do: I showed up, did my job beyond what I was asked, had a 401(K), saved money, provided for my kids.
I love radio. I have always loved radio, from the time I was a little girl riding in the backseat of my mom’s car, listening to WCBS-FM. I used to practice talking into my Fisher Price tape recorder because I wanted to be a DJ. When I got my dream job on KNRK in 2004, I felt alive for the first time in a long time. It gave me freedom, that job. I left my bad marriage, got my own place, got my own life, finally. I felt like a GROWNUP. I felt great about myself.
Now, I understand money and how everyone needs it and how the economy tanked and all that. I understand that my being laid off was not a reflection of how I did my job, or how my bosses thought of me. I understand it was purely financial. But I have an audience, both from when I was on the air and now because of Twitter, and they’d listen. Listeners = money for the station. My connections in the local business community would also bring in those very valuable advertising dollars that every media outlet needs to survive. I can do this job, because I did it before and I was awesome at it.
However, I have not been replaced by another human being at my old job. A computer does part of it. Two other people have had to increase their workloads because of my absence, and I bet they’re not entirely thrilled about it. I would go back on an hourly, unsalaried, unbenefitted basis to prove I still can do all I used to do and more.
I may be a casualty of the Crash of 2009, but I’m not a victim. I want to work and I want to work hard. I don’t want a handout. I want to prove my worth.
If only someone would just let me do it already.